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MALTATODAY 29 September 2019

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maltatoday 2 SUNDAY • 29 SEPTEMBER 2019 • ISSUE 1039 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY YOUR FIRST READ AND CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT MATTHEW VELLA STAFF at the finance ministry believe American intelligence could have already been aware of suspicious fi- nancial transactions inside the now- shuttered bank Satabank, widely believed to have been used by crimi- nal rings to receive millions in cash transfers. Sources who spoke to MaltaToday insist that staff at Edward Scicluna's ministry emerged from a meeting in June with Marshall Billingslea – the United States' Department of Treas- ury's assistant secretary for terrorist financing – "convinced" that the US had prior information of the bank be- ing used by elements of the Russian government for covert payments. "Without being prompted, Billing- slea made special mention of Dar- ren and Gordon Debono, as well as of lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, mak- ing clear the Americans' interest in the case of the fuel smugglers," the source said. "All this was being said in the con- text of a discussion on Satabank, but also the potential use of the bank by Russia to transfer funds to accounts in the bank. "Remarkably, Billingslea appeared to be privy to sensitive banking transactions at the bank," the source said, referring to a period where the bank had already been taken under controllership and each transaction and deposit at the bank was being analysed by the independent audit firm EY. WOMEN ALOUD On Safe Abortion Day, Maltese feminists mark a historic first with a pro-choice rally in Valletta PG 3 Americans told Scicluna of concerns about Russian cash in Satabank PAGE 5 T. 2379 4794 | | Y E A R S O F R E A L E S T A T E 1 9 6 9 2 0 1 9 For the last 50 years we have put integrity at the core of everything we do, driven to give you more than you expect. Local. Experienced. Personal. Frank. Since 1969. Foreign CEO for Bank of Valletta MATTHEW VELLA BANK of Valletta is expected to announce former Northern Rock executive Rick Hunkin as its next chief executive officer, as out- going boss Mario Mallia steps down in November. The move marks a first for the bank, which is 25% owned by the Maltese government, which head-hunted its first ever foreign CEO as opposed to picking rank- and-file executives. Englishman Hunkin has been chief risk officer at Chetwood Financial since April 2019, and held the same role at his former post with Provident Financial, Royal Bank of Scotland Williams & Glyn unit, and Northern Rock, according to his LinkedIn page. In 1998, Hunkin was a risk di- rector for the National Bank of New Zealand, and later moved to Goldfish Bank and C&G plc, a joint venture where he man- aged Lloyd's TSB's interests. He moved to GE Money as chief risk officer in 2006, before arriving at Northern Rock in 2008 where he was hired to manage the rena- tionalised bank until its return to private ownership. He then became chief risk offic- er and director of Tesco Bank in 2011, moving to RBS in 2014 and to Provident in November 2017, before his move to Chetwood earlier this year. JAMES BIANCHI maltatoday 2 The all new pull-out section INSIDE • LISTINGS • TV • LAW • CLASSIFIEDS This Week Art curator Rebecca Lewin Q and A Wayne Flask Film The Souvenir James Debono on the Farrugias' rollercoaster ride to irrelevance PGS 14-15, 19, 21 INSIDE MT2 JOSANNE CASSAR PG 22 PAGE 4 Ministry staff told of United States terrorist financing czar's concern that Satabank was used by Russians to finance smuggling rings Godfrey Marlene END OF THE ORANGE REVOLUTION THE ART OF LYING THE ART OF LYING THE ART OF LYING THE ART OF LYING €1.95 ANDREA DIBBEN The pro-choice front: 'We're here and we're not going away' PAGES 16-17

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